As the constant battle goes off between the smartphone OEM’s, one of the most distinct is between the platforms, Android and iOS. And as Apple keeps updating their mobile CPU’s every year that beats the multicore and single core scores across, the Android platform tries catching up to them, bridging the gaps by larger margins each year.
One of the profound chip manufacturers for the Android world has been Qualcomm and their famous Snapdragon processors. This year’s wave of OEM flagships have been sporting the Snapdragon 835 and now Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 845 which is rumored to be in the Galaxy S9 line up of phones as they would be the first to get it. Read on to find more about it.
So here is what they have to say. Following is some of the tech Jargons based on the technology that goes into the Chip.
The Snapdragon 845 has a new Kryo 385 CPU architecture and an upgraded Adreno 630 GPU. The chip is based on Samsung’s 10nm LPP FinFET, where LPP stands for Low power Plus which allows up to 10 percent higher performance or 15 percent lower power consumption, compared to its previous generation. The new tech is still based on company’s existing process and that should reduce production time and have higher initial yields.
Samsung is committed to still improve the 10nm technology by treading towards 8LPP from the 10LPP, which would bring even better efficiency.
Video and Image Processing:
With the Snapdragon 845, they are bringing a shift to the strategy of a higher quality image and video processing. Instead of focusing on the resolution, they are now focusing on the volume of color depth that can be captured. The Spectra ISP collects more color data by combining three methods – moving from 8 bit to 10-bit color, expanding its color gamut from Rec 709 to Rec 2020, and increasing luminance (brightness of an object). The chip can process more shades of the same color for more depth, recognize a broader spectrum of colors and increased levels of brightness for the same hue. That allows for more nuanced images.
Also, low light images would be improved where it would capture sixty 16 MP images per second. With that much data, the processor would be able to make more precise decisions to identify a part of the image as noise and separate it from parts where it is an actual part of the said image.
Also, image stabilization would get a boost by an image stabilization method called, “motion compensated temporal filtering”.
Extended reality would also show an advancement which allows room tracking to be more efficient (with 6-DoF and SLAM). So now, your hands could be detected across pitch, yaw, and roll. That helps you move freely in a room and still be detected within your virtual environment.
What is the link between Xiaomi and Snapdragon 845? Click here to know!
Another feature is the addition of Adreno Foveation, which tracks the viewer’s gaze to optimize image rendering for the center of what you’re looking at while “blurring out” the surroundings.
That’s a lot to take in for Image and Video processing. Definitely sounds very exciting on paper. Let’s see how it pans out in real life.
Core Computation is key here to the improvements in AI. The AI would help it delegate work to the part of the chip as and when required. Could be work for the Hexagon 685 digital signal processor, the Adreno GPU or the Kryo CPU. All will be done faster than the predecessor by extending support for various computational frameworks. The extensions would host the popular AI frameworks like Googles Tensor Flow, Facebook’s Caffe 2 as well as the newer Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX). Photography features like video style transfer, artificial bokeh effect with single cameras as well as face recognition and unlock will also get a boost. And let’s not forget Digital assistants like Google Assistant would definitely be benefitted.
Performance metrics of Snapdragon 845
So Qualcomm estimates that the new chip is 25 to 30 percent faster than the previous iteration. It would have 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. The performance cores can clock at a whopping 2.8 GHz speed while the efficiency modules would clock at 1.8 GHz speed. And it also consumes 30% less power.
They were able to get this done by implementing a system cache on the Kryo CPU (in addition to dedicated memory serving the major cores) so that the DSP or modem can store and access data quickly.
Here’s a comparison chart of the 845 with its predecessors
|Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 821|
|CPU Core||Semi-custom ARM Cortex – Kryo 835||Semi-custom ARM Cortex – Kryo 280||Fully-custom – Kryo|
|CPU Config||4x 2.8 GHz (Cortex-A75)||4x 2.45GHz (Cortex-A73)||2x 2.35GHz Kryo|
|4x 1.7 GHz (Cortex-A55)||4x 1.9GHz (Cortex-A53)||2x 1.6 GH Kryo|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 540||Adreno 530|
|DSP||Hexagon 685 with HVX||Hexagon 682 with HVX||Hexagon 680|
|Process||10nm LPP FinFET||10nm LPE FinFET||14nm LLP FinET|
As a direct competition to one of the big giants, Apple which has 4 cores in their chip (2 performance cores and 2 high-efficiency cores), its key to keep in mind that as a chip advances to higher performance outputs, it should also factor in more efficient battery consumption. Samsung has always been keen on keeping this a priority, so the balance is well maintained.
While we are at it, the Galaxy S9 experienced a major leak recently! Know all about it here.
And with its investment to 8LPP and 7nm EUV(Extreme ultra Violet) chips, Samsung is dedicated to give much better efficiency along with more power than the previous generations. With so much technology changing in a span of one year, we are bound to see strides of improvements in the smartphone world. This definitely feels like getting the Android smartphones an edge to AI, smart computing and photography. As a direct consumer, this definitely makes me excited.
Are you as excited as we are? Is Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 a dream come true for the phone enthusiast in you? Let us know in the comments section below!